Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to take important decisions regarding the sugar industry by Monday. This follows the various suggestions made both by farmers and sugar mill representatives during the course of the first ever sugarcane price control board’s meeting on Saturday. Senior officers who were present during the meeting said that it is expected the decisions will be taken soon.
During the course of the meeting, the sugar mills owners both cooperative and private had asked for special schemes from the government to bail them out and to pay at least the Fixed Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane. “One of the suggestions that had come out was to exempt sugar mills from paying the purchase tax which comes to aroud Rs 2000 per tonne. It was suggested that this move will help the sugar mills,” said a senior officer who was present at the meeting.
Another suggestion that was made was to remove the interstate ban on movement of molasses to allow free trade. The board had also asked for special schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGS) for sugarcane harvestors. The meeting also suggested that the government makes mandatory for the oil companies to mix 20 per cent of ethanol in fuel which will be purchased from the sugar mills. Ethanol is a by-product generated during the process of manufacture of sugar.
“Once the state government takes the calls on purchase tax and lifting the ban on movement of molasses, it is expected the sugar mills will start announcing their first installment price. Till date although the sugarcane crushing season has started majority of the factories have failed to announce their first installment price,” said an officer of the sugar commissionerate. The CM is expected to take a decision about the purchase price by today evening.